How Not to Use the Scale

  • 1 Minute Read

Don't trust your scale. It can't measure everything. Here are several reasons you should avoid the scale.

How Not to Use the Scale

The scale often carries a "love/hate" image for many who are looking to lose weight and improve health. There are certainly times that a scale comes in handy; it can help us calculate BMI; it is used for understanding our daily caloric needs, and it's the most common tool we use to judge our "success" in losing weight. But here are some ways not to use the scale and look to other measures of health success.

One of the big things that most scales can't do is accurately judge how much of one's body is fat and how much is muscle. Sure, there are a few fancy scales out there that promote that as a feature, but they are no substitute for having your body fat measured with a good ol' skinfold caliper. You will find a much more accurate number by actually measuring than relying on a simple weight divided by height in inches equation.

Your body changes; it changes hourly and daily. And relying on a scale for tracking these changes can throw you off during your journey. If you don't weigh yourself at exactly the same time of the day, same day of the week, waiting the same time after eating/drinking, it can be difficult to accurately gauge your true weight and it can be easy to get discouraged if you don't see a smaller number every time you step on the scale.

A scale can't measure strength. It can't reflect the fact that your squats are deeper, your runs are longer, your barbells are bigger. It cannot measure stamina. Only keeping track of your exercises and workouts can truly reflect that. So if you are measuring health solely on what the scale says, you'll be missing out on a much bigger picture of who you are and what you've accomplished. Perhaps make your weight loss goal more comprehensive, such as lower my BMI to X and raise my workout times to Y, shooting for Z days a week.

Also, take measurements. Measure your arms, waist, thighs, neck. These measurements can show weight loss in a much more dynamic way than a single number. If you're shrinking dress and pant sizes, you know something's working.

And lastly, your scale can't measure happiness. How does working out and eating right make you feel? If you feel energized and happy, you can't put a number on that. Tell us, how had avoiding the scale every once in a while helped you?

Weight Loss->Goals & Monitoring
Oct 4, 2013
Ryan Newhouse - health writer, MyNetDiary

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